Howard Goodwin, MMR

Howard Goodwin, MMR saw a need in the Northwest Atlanta area for an operating group to pool its talents for designing, constructing, and operating model railroads, so he founded The North Atlanta Rail Barons in 2005. Initially, the group had nine members with no plans to grow beyond that number. Eventually, additional members were added until the group is more than twice as large as when it started in spite of losing several of its original members.

    Howard (HOrn) Goodwin, MMR is a past-President of the Lauderdale Shoreline Model Railroad Club in Florida, and he has served as both Superintendent and Director of Operations of the Piedmont Division, Southeastern Region, of the National Model Railroad Association. He is an active participant in almost all of the Division’s activities, and his Great Cypress Lines is an annual participant in the Piedmont Pilgrimage tour of member’s layouts. He is also founder of the North Atlanta Rail Barons, a very active operating group within the Division.

    Howard received his NMRA Achievement Program Certificate as a Master Model Railroader on May 19, 2015. An NMRA member qualifies as a Master Model Railroader when he has obtained at least seven of the eleven Achievement Certificates provided that he has earned at least one Achievement Certificate in each of the four areas of the Regulations. Howard has earned eight of the eleven AP Certificates. Earning the title of Master Model Railroader is the ultimate goal for many participants in the Achievement Program.

    Howard had previously earned the following AP Certificates:

    • Master Builder - Cars
    • Master Builder - Structures
    • Model Railroad Engineer - Civil
    • Model Railroad Engineer - Electrical
    • Engineering & Operation - Chief Dispatcher
    • Association Official
    • Association Volunteer
    • Model Railroad Author

The Great Cypress Lines

The Great Cypress Lines is a mythical Class-II HO-scale railroad, born from Howard's fertile imagination. Designed for operations, it is a single-line railroad with several passing sidings, and it utilizes both Code-83 and Code-70 track, a significant portion of which is hand-laid. It is a point-to-point railroad serving as a bridge route to major railroads set in the transition-era Southeastern United States, but it also features continuous run. Scenery is rapidly being added, and there are many detailed scenes already completed.

On April 1, 2014, The Great Cypress Lines was the scene of a North Atlanta Rail Barons operating session, and you can read all about it here.

Layout at a Glance

Scale HO
Size 13' x 32' with two staging yards in adjacent garage.
Prototype Freelanced
Locale Southeastern U.S.
Era Transition
Style Folded over dogbone
Len. of Mainline 250'
Layout Height 48"
Benchwork Open Grid
Roadbed Homabed, Cork
Trackwork Code 83 mainline with some hand laid code 83 & code 70.
Turnout Min #8 Mainline, #6 Industrial some hand laid
Min. Radius 28"
Maximum Grade 2%
Scenery Foam, Hardshell - 75% complete
Backdrop 1/8" Hardboard (Masonite), coved in all corners
Controls Digitrax Radio DCC






There will be a video here soon...

Piedmont Division Logo           Southeastern Region logo           NMRA logo

  Member Index

Charter Members

The following current members of the North Atlanta Rail Barons are Charter Members of the group:

Howard Goodwin, MMR

Charlie Brown, MMR

Al Churella

Rob Dodds

Perry Lamb

Walt Liles

Jim Travis


The following members have joined the North Atlanta Rail Barons during the last nine years.

Boyd Bender

Dave Butts

Brian Campbell

Steve Funsten

I. D. Jackson

Bill Mathewson

Conrad Mora

Bill Raymond

Brian Sandberg

Mark Thomann

Dean Webb

Bob Wood

Bill Zawacki, MMR


Former Members

Charlie Crawford, MMR was a Charter Member of NARB and former Superintendent of the Piedmont Division. He was the third member of our group to earn the award of Master Model Railroader. He is now participating in another local operating group.

Larry K. Smith, MMR was a charter member of NARB and now lives in Kentucky where he completed the requirements to become the fourth Master Model Railroader from NARB.

Louis Gomes was a long-term member of NARB, an excellent modeler, guru of the CV's and DCC decoders and wiring design. He was the group's first webmaster and is responsible for the design of our logo. Louis recently completed his education and was rewarded with a new job in Houston, TX.

Philo Hutcheson left us when he accepted a position with the University of Alabama Birmingham. He had built an excellent HO-scale railroad depicting the Maine coastline in the 1940's/50's era.

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